{Birth Stories}

The Birth of Lainie

As most people know, I had Lainie when I was 16. I do still enjoy telling people how old she is, and then telling them how old I am, and watching them try to maintain a polite smile while they struggle to do that math in their head.
When I was 16, it's safe to say that I didn't know shit. About anything. Pregnancy and childbirth in particular. The only real resource I had for information was the health channel on cable T.V. Birthday, A Baby Story, Special Delivery, etc. I watched that shit religiously, trying to soak up whatever insight I could into what I was about to endure. The main point of every show seemed to be: lay in an unflattering position in a narrow bed that makes you look like a whale wrapped in white sheets, give nurses a blank stare and wait for them to put that big needle in your back.

And that's where shit got scary.

I probably watched over 200 women on t.v. get Epidurals during my pregnancy, and the image of that huge needle going into their freakin back DURING A CONTRACTION while they whimpered, and cried and the doctor kept saying "Don't move!", probably scared me more than the images of huge wrinkly baby noggins ripping their way through some chicks vajazzle. I decided firmly: no Epidural. I was going to kick this shit old school, and sweat and cry and bite a stick or rip up sheets, or whatever it is I was supposed to do, and just squeeze this spawn out all natural. No big deal, right? Totally what I thought. And nobody told me I was being overly optimistic. No. One.

I went into labor on November 10th, the day before Lainie's due date. My contractions started out as little nothing, crampy, maybe-you-just-ate-something-bad uncomfortable things, sometime around noon, and went on like that for what seemed like forever. I called my dad, Lainie's dad and my sisters, but no one seemed to be in a big hurry to get to me {I was home alone and in labor, mind you} so I figured I had plenty of time.
Yes, I was one of those people who shaved their legs before going to the hospital to have a baby. Don't judge me.
Finally, around 6:30 that night, contractions picked up, and were more something I needed to breathe through, and they were starting to hurt my lower back. I called everyone again.
At 7:30 {a full 7.5 hours after I started having contractions} Lainie's dad showed up and walked around the block with me for a while, until I was stopping during a contraction to pull on his shirt and push my head against his chest. He decided we should go back and call my dad again, so waddle home I did.
I called my dad again, no answer, so I decided we had time, and I sat down and ate a left over steak. That shit was good too.
At 10:30 at night, my dad finally showed up, and we all stood in the driveway for a while trying to figure out what to do. Me, contracting, panting and saying "Dad my hips hurt" while he and Lainie's dad discussed who should drive me in their car, while the other person followed, if we should leave yet, when they thought the baby was born, blah blah blah, until I finally stuck my enormous belly between them, and said if we didn't leave I'd pregnancy rage on everyone, and then waddled to the car still yelling "Dad! My hips hurt!"
At around Midnight we were finally checked into the hospital, 4 cm. dilated, and contracting away. Now remember I said no Epidural. And I meant no Epidural. So, without any knowledge of proper labor skills or comfort measures or any of the sort, I just laid in bed writhing and crying and doing what I saw every woman on t.v. do, secretly wishing that damn Epidural needle wasn't so fucking terrifying.
It went on like this for a while.
Finally, at probably 2:30 in the morning, a nurse came in and showed my sisters how to give counter pressure to my lower back, and FINALLY my hips stopped hurting. Hallelujah. But labor still hurt like a mother. When the nurse checked my at 3 a.m. and I was only 5 cm. I was devistated. All that pain, and only 1 cm. I was so tired. Someone suggested a pain reliever that wasn't an epidural, and since I was loaded with extensive birth knowledge from my many hours of t.v. watching while laying on the couch like a beached whale, I immediately requested Stadol, which is an IV pain medication. I had my eyes closed when the nurse came in, and since it goes in through the IV tube that was already in my arm, I didn't realize I'd received my shot yet, I just remember suddenly feeling very warm, very sleepy and very relaxed. I opened my heavy eyes and told the nurse I changed my mind, I didn't want the shot. "I already gave it to you, and it's working. That's why you don't want it."
With that, I fell blissfully asleep, floating somewhere in dream land, where I heard far away people talking about how huge my contractions looked on the monitor, and me chuckling at them inside my head because little did they know, I could barely feel it. In my stoned state, I thought I'd somehow pulled one over on everybody.
At 4:30, the Stadol wore off, and the contractions hit like woah.
This is where shit gets real.
They were coming one after another, and holy mother of sweet baby Jesus were they intense. But after only 5 or 6, I felt something strange.
My vagina on display for the world to see, and my self respect kicking around on the floor somewhere, I looked at the nurse and yelled "I need to poop! Let me go to the bathroom so I can poop!"
"No." She said. "You might deliver on the toilet. You have to just go here." she must have taken some of my Stadol.
"I can't! I promise I won't have the baby in there, just let me go to the bathroom and poop, please!" I begged.
"Sarah, you don't have to poop" she said, whilst shoving her hand back into my land of chaste and virtue, which totally made me think 'You have your hand in the wrong hole to be telling me if I need to shit or not'
"You don't have to poop, your baby is coming. Fast, actually." She said, before turning to someone else {a nurse? a janitor?} and ordered them to get the doctor, asap. And then I felt what she was talking about. I needed to push. Now.
She must have sensed it, because that's when she looked at me and said "Don't push! Not until the doctor says it's ok!" and with all seriousness, I looked at her and said "I'm sorry, I can only take orders from my uterus right now, because my vagina is exploding. If the doctor wants to be here for this, he better hurry."
I remember someone laying back, and both of my sisters pulling one of my legs back, as the doctor rushed in and suited up. Lainie's dad came to my right side and pulled back my other leg. I remember thinking he looked scared. I looked around for my dad, and then finally found him at the head of my bed, leaning on a monitor, looking completely calm, if not a bit whistful, even smiling at me.
I was ready.
I pushed, people counted backwards from 10, I took another breath, I pushed some more, people kept counting, and I remember at some point, the doctor took my hand and brought it down to feel Lainie's emerging little pumpkin. She had hair. I pushed harder, and then suddenly felt her head completely emerge. Then a shoulder, then the other shoulder, and I remember I felt her feet kicking me inside as the doctor pulled her the rest of the way out.
He laid her long, skinny, sweet body on my stomach, and I was a mother. She was my daughter. I knew her, instantly.